October 2021 | Coming out of the Darkness

Roxy & Chris

Do what you’re gonna do
And say what you got to say
Do what you’re gonna do
Yes, start today
Start today

Window Paine | The Smashing Pumpkins

 

It’s been a while – but we’re still here!

The seasons have passed and life has continued under COVID. Vaccines have rolled out, economies and communities have re-opened, and most recently, vaccine passports were implemented.

I live in a small mountain village, so most of this goes unnoticed by us out-of-the-way folk. But news of the world reaches us all, and travel plans must include the latest safety protocols.

Family & Oxen at work in Mexico
Family & Oxen at work in Mexico
Viva Mexico
Viva Mexico

 

CANADA

I recently visited family and friends in Canada, so to make the entry and time spent in Canada more relaxing, I got 2 doses of the Astra Zeneca vaccine, back in June and August.

I got my paperwork translated into English and uploaded it to the Canadian travel site ArriveCan.

Once I arrived in Canada I feasted like a Roman Emperor.

Since I had been in my home country, exactly 4 years before, marijuana became legal. Pretty much as soon as I got off the plane and left the airport building, I smelled weed. Canada you guys are mad chronic! It’s everywhere, and pretty much everyone is enjoying God’s gift and magical herb.

I visited my parents, my brother, lots of my close friends, and all in all it was amazing.
Unfortunately, I didn’t take that many photos during my visit but I do have some to share.

Rockingham, Canada
Rockingham, Canada
Barns of Rockingham
Barns of Rockingham

Looking backward, I spent my summer a little bit on the down-low:

  1. I was a little anxious about the whole traveling during COVID thing.
  2. I had messed up my back quite badly at the end of July when I fell off my horse Roxy when doing something very stupid….

So I was excited to go to Canada with a newly found abdomen 6 pack, but, alas, that wasn’t meant to be. The 2 months before getting on a plane I was exercising and riding much less than normal.

I rode in 2 cabalgatas over the summer, both to a nearby village. Roxy still rides like the dickens, like a bat out of hell, like a winner that just needs to be in front all of the time. My good phone broke, I lost all my good cabalgata shots, but, hey, that’s life sometimes.

Roxy Roller
Roxy Roller

 

ROXY

She’s 13 now, never bred, yet she looks like an even 8.

I feel such gratitude for having her in my life. She’s simply a superior horse. Maybe hard to handle at times, but it’s only because she wants to show the world what she is made of.

It’s not arrogance – it’s excellence. To be able to witness such magnificence is a luxury I will never take for granted. I bow down at her feet.

Let’s honour the excellence in our lives, from the people and animals and nature who have inspired us thru their greatness and purity of character.

We live to share and learn!

This is the life
This is the life
What a trip. It's far from over!
What a trip. It’s far from over!

 

SPRING & SUMMER

Throughout last winter and spring, I spent my time on a serious diet and exercise regimen. I was immobile pretty much from May through October with a lingering ankle fracture after Roxy fell on me during an attacked by a pack of dogs.

The program was tough at the beginning, starting at the beginning of December 2020. The ab and core workout app called Lose Weight App for Men is awesome! I started noticing weight loss and more strength after about 6-8 weeks- combined with the diet. After 5 months, I noticed a massive difference in posture, something I have never naturally been blessed with.

I was walking around with a feeling of unity in my body. After months of these simple 30-minute workouts, I realized that my back was feeling better because my core was stronger. And also, my core is actually part of my back. They are one. And the feeling of oneness in my body, I’ve never felt it up to my 47 years of age. What a blessing. Like I said earlier, I felt in early July that I would be going to Canada in September with a 6 pack abdomen, something I have never had in my life. Falling off of July put an x-nay on that, but the core strength, even during the weeks of low/ no exercise, stayed with me.

I’m back from Canada and back into the core workouts and the posture feels great.

It wasn’t just exercise that led to a 30lb weight reduction. It was also a radical change in diet….

I exchanged beef, sausages, tacos, and snacks, for rice, vegetables, fruits, beans, chickpeas, or lentils. I put a little bit of manteca ( pork fat/ lard) in my rice and bean when I cooked them daily, but when reheating leftovers I only used water.

All in all, I was reducing my fat and processed sugar content dramatically. The new food diet was primarily whole foods, prepared simply.

Between the diet and ab workouts, I was on a road to health, vitality, and longevity. The proof was in the pudding as they say…..

As happens to many of us as we approach the second half of our lives, we are faced with the opportunity to make new choices. Lifestyle improvements will lead us to a great second act. Or, by doing nothing new, we remain on the same road, a path that leads to diminishing returns as our body starts to grow up.

I, like many of my age (I’m 47), decided that I needed to make positive health choices now, and not later. No one else was going to do it for me…

Getting in shape
Getting in shape
Lots of mountain hiking
Lots of mountain hiking

 

COVID

I’ll finish by touching a bit on my views and perspective of the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic. Its impact on our health and our mental state, as well as some of its effects on our societies and personal freedoms.

Since I last wrote at the turn of the year, vaccines have been rolled out and most communities have pretty much fully re-opened.

Vaccine passports are becoming the norm for many businesses and restaurants, as well as for travel. The implications of this are manyfold. No vaccine = restricted access and mobility, and potential loss of employment.

Over the last year and a half, I have written about the COVID situation for my professional work. And, just like many of you, we’ve been part of conversations with people from various countries and demographics.

Most people I have talked with are pro-vaccine, while fewer are pro-choice and anti-unproven vaccine. And lastly, I know of others who are distinctly anti-vaccine.

My take on the Coronavirus:

  1. That COVID-19 is an extremely virulent form of the influenza virus.
  2. That the media and those behind the media are using the pandemic to incite fear.
  3. That the vaccine passports are being used as a societal control measure
  4. As to the safety or efficacy of the actual vaccines, I believe the jury is still out on this. We won’t know about long-term effects for years…
  5. Whole economies have mutated due to the long-term shutdowns.

Most of us have survived this pandemic; although personal and community loss has been devastating.
We will adapt and carry on. What I fear more than anything is the longer-lasting behavioral effects that may linger, long after “the scare” is over. Social distancing, and worse, social ostracization, may become the new norm.

So from Roxy and I, we wish you the best as we near the end of 2021, the year of recovery. Let your spirit soar ever higher, while planting the seeds of a better tomorrow in today’s earth….

Be well.

We still roll
We still roll
Be well. Your spirit is strong.
Be well. Your spirit is strong.
October 2021 | Coming out of the Darkness

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